The Trump administration is sending federal border patrol agents as part of a stepped-up arrest operation in so-called “sanctuary cities” across the United States, including Los Angeles, the New York Times reported early Friday evening.
The Times referred to the move as “an escalation in the president’s battle against localities that refuse to participate in immigration enforcement.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva quickly responded with the following statement:
“According to the New York Times Friday, President Trump is deploying elite tactical border patrol agents known as BORTAC (Border Patrol Tactical Unit) to so-called sanctuary cities.
“I strongly oppose this irresponsible deployment of federal SWAT agents in Los Angeles County for civil immigration enforcement.
“In 2019, I reduced ICE transfers by 53% and lowered serious crimes in Los Angeles County by 7%. This debunks the White House’s claim that SB-54 and similar laws throughout the nation will somehow lead to an increase in violent crime. We cannot allow the federal government to weaponize our immigration system for partisan politics.
“This poorly thought-out plan can only be seen as a tactic to intimidate an already vulnerable population and drive them deeper into the shadows.
“As the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, I am responsible for everyone’s public safety regardless of immigration status. We are not any safer if an entire segment of our population is afraid to report crimes to local law enforcement.”